Thursday, October 23, 2008

Too Many Veggies!

One thing that's really been bugging me lately is the complete lack of options around the size of produce that you can get at either Ukrops or Kroger. You can't buy single, or even double, sized portions of most vegetables; instead you're forced to buy something like 8 to 10 servings of something that you just end up wasting.

The latest such incident happened tonight when I tried to make an Italian vegetable soup that was featured in Mens Health. Simple, inexpensive, healthy, and according to the editor, absolutely amazing.

So off I walk, cloth bags in hand, to Ukrops, home of the much-touted, and inconveniently bundled, local produce. Among other things, the recipe calls for: 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a few leaves of cabbage, and a small bunch of chard. Of course, when you live in rural Italy and have all these things growing in your garden, getting the right amounts is a snap. Alas, I do not live in rural Italy.

Just 2 carrots? Nope, gotta buy 2 dozen carrots. Just 2 stalks of celery? Nope, same as the carrots. Just a few cabage leaves instead of an entire 2 lb cabbage? Surely you jest.

And the chard. Ooooooohhhh, the lovely chard. The recipe calls for a "small bunch". What you see in the picture is the most not-un-small-bunchiest bunch of chard they had, which just happened to weigh 2.5 lbs and be twice as big as the magazine itself. That's not a trick of the camera angle, it really is that huge. *sigh, rant over, feel better now.

Fortunately, the Mens Health editor was right, this really is some good soup! Healthy, incredibly simple, and amazingly good. And if you have some just-reduced crusty Italian bread and a simple red wine to go with it, then you are in for a good night!

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